We’ve all heard the cautionary statement on the Viagra and Cialis commercials:
"Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity"
But what they're leaving out is that if you're at the doctor's office, curious about a drug for erectile dysfunction, you already have the early onset symptoms of cardiovascular disease!
Erectile dysfunction is a symptom of heart disease!
Not of 'old age' like you may be lead to believe!
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease doesn't just affect your heart. Blood vessels throughout your entire body are affected, your sex organs just happen to be more noticeable… And yes ladies, that means you too! For women, the symptoms show up as vaginal dryness and not able to achieve an orgasm.
If you or your partner are experiencing these signs, it’s potentially the early warning signs of heart disease or even other health problem! According to this excerpt from Harvard's Dr. Michael P. O'Leary:
"In fact, blood vessel problems are the leading cause of erectile dysfunction. Erections “serve as a barometer for overall health,” and erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of trouble in the heart or elsewhere."
Instead of asking your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex...
You should be asking if you are in the early stages of cardiovascular disease!
What about hormones?
Hormones definitely play a role in sexual function and satisfaction as well, but thankfully if you're following a heart healthy lifestyle like I mention below, your hormones should be in good health too. Although there are definitely times when more fine-tuning is necessary!
And, another note about hormones and erectile dysfunction
Cholesterol actually plays a beneficial role in hormone health. You need cholesterol to produce hormones! However, cholesterol lowering drugs like statins also reduce sex hormones like testosterone production. And, statins are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs out there for men over 45! It's no wonder so many men are seeking the help of a little blue pill! Cholesterol is highly misunderstood and only recently being redeemed.
In this article, heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell speaks on the real culprits behind heart disease... and it's not cholesterol:
"Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped."
"What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods."
Here are 8 tips to promote a healthy heart and erection:
1. Eliminate rancid fats from your diet. Often cooking oils, even the supposed healthy ones, are already rancid before they're bottled due to poor quality manufacturing and that they're not suitable cooking oils to begin with. For example, deodorizers are used to take out the rancid smell of canola oil. I cook with coconut oil and use olive oil for salads.
2. Eliminate trans-fats (aka partially hydrogenated oils) and their cousin, the new interesterfied oils which were brought in to take the place of trans-fats. These are man-made, fake fats that your body cannot process well. Finally the FDA is calling trans-fats "not generally recognized as safe" for consumption. It can take years for your body to rid itself of them, so start now by completely removing them from your diet. Since so little is known about the new interesterfied fats it's best to take caution and eliminate these man-made fats too. You’ll find them in packaged foods like baked desserts, crackers and candy bars. Which is perfect because you also need to...
3. Eliminate refined carbohydrate and added sugar intake. Excess sugars in the blood vessels cause damage to the blood vessel lining. Refined carbohydrates easily reduce to sugar (glucose).
*Both trans-fats, rancid fats and sugar causes damage to your blood vessels. This damage creates inflammation. Normal healthy inflammation is the signal to repair the blood vessels or damaged tissue, but when it happens chronically, the damage is too far beyond and your body no longer has the tools it needs to repair itself, thus it remains in a constant state of inflammation, ie: cardiovascular disease!
4. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits for their artery clearing fiber and blood vessel protecting and repairing antioxidants.
5. Eat healthy fats from quality olive oil, Alaskan salmon, anchovies, avocado, coconut and other nuts & seeds, and organic grass-fed meat & dairy.
6. Reduce chronic stress as much as possible, and find ways to channel what you cannot eliminate. Exercise, yoga, meditation, getting yourself wrapped up in a good book are just a handful of ways to combat stress.
7. Have fun, lots of fun! Your heart carries around the burden of many emotions both good and bad. Enjoying life and having fun is one way to soothe it from those emotional stressors that while may be a part of life, can have a negative impact on your heart health.
8. Sleep well.